Your Children Are Watching You

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Did you ever watch very young creatures of any species and the way they watch and mimic their parents? For instance, a mother duck is followed by a group of ducklings.
They are learning to do life by watching, following and mimicking her.
Our children are not so different.
They are following us around, looking for guidance.
Like any wild babies, our children learn to behave, care for themselves, and communicate with others by watching us.
From their earliest moments they watch you closely and pattern their own behavior and beliefs after yours.
Your behavior becomes a permanent image in both their conscious memory, and in their subconscious, which will shape their attitudes and actions for the rest of their life.
Actions speak louder than words.
If we are preaching patience and tolerance but flying off the handle at every annoyance, what are we teaching our children? If we are preaching fairness and equality but being judgmental of other people for any reason - our children are watching and listening.
Your children are watching not only the way you treat them, but they are learning from the relationship you have with your spouse and your parents.
They are learning about respect from the way you treat strangers, and the way you allow yourself to be treated.
It's important to take good care of yourself.
Parenting can be a very consuming job, and while we're focusing on what's best for our child it's easy to neglect our own needs.
Your child and your family are counting on you physically and emotionally, so it's imperative that you teach your child by example that taking care of yourself helps you to take care of them.
Your child needs to learn that not only do you love them, but you love yourself as well.
If you are married, let your child see you communicate in a positive and healthy manner with your spouse.
Your child should witness you showing love and affection for one another.
Although they will also witness disagreements, watching you work through any difficulties is teaching them important lessons.
If you are a single parent, they are learning by watching you interact with friends.
Your children are watching you all the time, even when you think they aren't.
They are learning from the way you handle frustration and fatigue, disappointment and triumph.
You can preach "Do as I say, not as I do," but your child is learning how to do life on a very subconscious level by watching you.
Instead of saying "Do as I say, not as I do," your motto needs to be "Do as I say - AND as I do.
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